Revera’s McConachie Gardens in Edmonton humanizes every stage of senior living
The joy of home is the ability to live in spaces that feel like your own; a place where you can continue to grow, thrive and learn new skills. This is what Revera wanted to achieve when they asked us to design McConachie Gardens. They asked us to create a home that promotes interaction, nurtures social connections and helps residents to make new memories. With human-centred design at the heart of our vision, the remarkable design incorporates concepts of hospitality with cues of 'home', giving residents a place that they can call their own.
Revera wanted to create a home that would be flexible enough to meet the demands of younger elders, but also be adaptable into a long-term care facility over time. Along with the goal of creating a beautiful design that blended with the surrounding community, we wanted to find the balance between hospitality and the medical requirements for aging residents.
We worked with Revera to understand how the homes operated in their existing communities. By leveraging our 'in-between thinking', we found a balance between contemporary residential design and more practical requirements, such as security, medical, and cognitive care. Our answer was a design that met the demands of aging residents in a non-traditional way. By focusing on creating communal spaces with high functionality and flexibility, our design provides residents with as much variety as possible for their activities.
Our design process emphasized the creation of human spaces that invite interaction among residents and their community ― with many places to meet, gather, observe and engage.
From the fully independent suites in resident apartments, to the assisted living and memory care facilities, the development is human-centric. Revera’s safe environment encourages seniors to remain independent for as long as possible, while specialized social and therapeutic programming ensures everyone is happy and engaged.
We paid close attention to spaces where residents can enjoy a variety of additional experiences. In 'cocoon' spaces throughout the complex, we created small retreats, including a cozy library, a games station with a living wall, and a horticulture centre that allows residents to nurture both plants and friendships.
The namesake garden is a prominent restorative feature that provides an essential connection to nature. With a variety of amenities in the outdoor area, residents can enjoy savoury barbecued meals, try their hand at gardening, or discover peace and quiet in the gazebo.
Since being opened to residents, McConachie Gardens has achieved its goal of creating a home where elders thrive. Residents have made themselves at home in spaces that encourage the uses and activities that they participate in. From the retired librarian who volunteers to keep the library a bustling, social gathering space, to the greenhouse gardener who maintains a program of activities to encourage engagement in the communal gardens, McConachie Gardens has reimagined what it means to thrive in a senior living community.
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